Lifelong learners make the best financial planners. It’s a vital part of what makes us not only a knowledgeable resource, but a trustworthy partner for our clients. Every fall, a handful of these financial planners attend a unique retreat. Where thought leaders from our industry (and often, others) gather together to share ideas, stories and inspiration around financial life planning topics. It’s called The Nazrudin Project (affectionately called “Naz” by many of us), and I just returned from my third year experiencing this incredible gift. This time, we were in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado.
Unlike a conference, there is no set agenda before arriving. On a Thursday evening, after hugs, briefly catching up and sharing a meal, we collaboratively set the agenda for our two full days together. Sometimes, the topics are on shared processes for navigating difficult conversations with our client families around mortality and family dynamics. Other times, we discuss ideas that help clients understand the money stories that have shaped their relationship with wealth. Each session is busting with experiences, questions and feedback from talented planners. We’re from all walks of life, all levels of experience, and all areas of the world. What brings us together is a passion for making our profession better.
Origins of Naz
The Nazrudin Project was created 24-years ago by financial planning thought leaders Dick Wagner and George Kinder. They saw a disconnect between the left and right brain when it came to financial advice, and began what is now known as the financial life planning movement. The aim is to marry traditional financial planning with psychology. Various educational resources and practice standards have come from the work of Dick and George. That said, Naz is considered a ‘leaderless’ think tank, though I think the term ‘leaderful’ is more accurate.
The Power of Yes
Through my volunteer experience with our local chapter of the Financial Planning Association, I had the great privilege to meet Dick Wagner a couple of years ago. (One of many examples of how saying ‘yes’ can lead to unpredictably wonderful things.) Late into one of our events, Dick shared with me some unforgettable pearls of wisdom. Amongst them was an invitation to Naz. Dick passed away early last year, but his legacy and life’s work continue to shape our profession. I am forever grateful for the invitation to learn from and grow with this talented group of educators, mentors and friends.